To sum it all up in two short words, the real estate market in Carteret County along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina is “very good”. Where the numbers are supposed to be high, they are. Where the numbers are supposed to be low, they are too. All in all this market place which has suffered from a glut of inventory for a decade has righted itself to resemble a more normal, stable market.
One of the things we here at Hitchcock Realty have been addressing for the past 10 years is the simple fact that the Crystal Coast housing market cannot, will not and never has been able to handle more than 900 to 1,000 homes for sale during any given month. Anything above 1,000 homes is simply more homes than there is demand for. This creates a glut of inventory. Days on market extends. Homes sit and either have to extend contracts, re-list with other agencies, go off market or in the worst case scenario foreclose.
Another problem with a glutted and slow market is that real estate appraisers have a difficult time finding quality comps. Generally speaking you want to find a home similar to yours, in the same neighborhood and sold within the past 3-6 months. Appraisers have had to use comps from a year plus and out of the normal range simply because sales have been so slow and there is nothing near-by or recently sold to use.
But for the first time in a decade or more, this past January saw active single dwelling homes drop down to 952. In past years we’ve had as much as 1,485 on market for sale. Not only is the current on-market, for-sale number at a historic low, sales on the other hand are at record high. During the month of January 65 single family homes were sold. The last time sales even came close to this number was back in 2007 with 54 homes sold.
For the homes that sold this past January in Carteret County their average days on market was 9 months. But just to show the range and diversity of the Carteret County real estate, on average in took a Beaufort home only 5 months to sell, a Morehead City home 7 months to sell, an Atlantic Beach home 9 months to sell and a home in Pine Knoll Shores took on average 14 months to sell.
The average sold price of a Carteret County home was $315K. This is the third highest average over a 10 year period. But that price is an average and had a couple of multi-million dollars homes included in it so the amount is skewed upwards. The fact remains that the majority of homes are sold at the $250K and under range. 65 percent of all homes sold fall into this bracket with the vast majority being $200K and under.
Conventional loans were the primary purchasing method at 44 percent. Cash sales remain high with January seeing a total of 32 percent bought that way. Coming in a distant third were VA Loans at only 1 percent.
January and February are traditionally the slowest months for real estate sales in Carteret County. March will see a spike in activity. But this past January was the best over-all January in over 10 years. Inventory met demand levels. Sales were high. Days on market are falling back towards the 6-7 month levels we need to see. In a normal, stable market both buyers and sellers benefit. The Crystal Coast real estate market has righted the ship and presents great opportunities for both.
For more information about the Crystal Coast market or of a specific town or neighborhood then contact Market Hitchcock with Hitchcock Realty at (252) 269-2893.
Crystal Coast January Real Estate Market Report